A troupe of drag queens caused controversy when they performed at a rural town in Alabama's Christmas parade. In a part of America known for its staunch conservatism and deep religious values the "Prancing Elites", as the young men call themselves, made quite a stir. Wearing knee-high boots and matching Santa hats and jackets revealing their midriffs, they performed their dance routine to jeers and shocked comments.
The troupe had been invited to the Semmes Christmas parade. However, when the day came many in the crowd found the boys too hard to handle. Claudia Davis was at the parade with her daughter. "I was outraged and appalled. I never expect anything like this at the Semmes Christmas parade," she said. "If they were gonna put this kind of activity in the parade, they should have notified the people of Semmes so that we had a choice whether we wanted out children to attend and see something like that," Davis added.
The parade route, a 1.7-mile stretch in west Mobile County, was filled with quiet outrage. Organizers were equally taken aback. "I had no idea that they would be dressed the way they were and that they would think it's appropriate for a community Christmas parade," said Karen McDuffie, who accepted applications for the event. "Their costumes and the style of dancing were inappropriate."
McDuffie, who is on the board of directors of the Friends of Semmes, the group that created the parade, said the Prancing Elites' moves were "vulgar" and "not appropriate for a children's Christmas parade," before apologizing on behalf of the organization. She said she received calls from dismayed parents, warning her that they would not attend next year if the group performed again. Prancing Elites troupe leader Kentrell Collins said: "We do want to apologize if we offended anybody who did not know who we were before today, but still at the end of the day, we only just came to dance and we did get invited."